It’s day one of our Whole30 and I’m remembering that one of the most important things in my food world are snacks. I love to eat and am really active, so I NEED to stay on top of my food situation.
In the walk-in I found dried apples, coconut flakes and raw walnuts. Definitely three ingredients I would love to play with for a Whole30-friendly snack solution.
1 cup coconut flakes (bite-sized)
1 cup chopped dried apples
1 cup walnuts
1 TBSP coconut oil
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1/4 tsp sea salt of choice
Heat a dry pan to medium high. Add the coconut flakes and toast. This only takes 2-3 minutes, so stay close and keep it moving. While the coconut toasts, slice or chop one cup’s worth of dried apples and toss it in a medium-sized mixing bowl. When the coconut is done, add it to the apples then sprinkle 1/4 tsp of pumpkin pie spice and about 1/8 tsp of sea salt. I used Himalayan in a grinder… did about 20 turns. Mix everything together.
Meanwhile, get the pan back on the heat and melt one tablespoon of coconut oil over medium temperature (so you’ll want to dial it back a bit). This is going to seem like a lot of coconut oil, but I have a plan.
The cup of walnuts need to be added to the melted coconut oil, mix to coat the nuts. Then add 1/4 tsp of pumpkin pie spice and about 15 turns of sea salt (a little less than 1/8 of a teaspoon). Continue stirring. The coconut oil will now form a glaze over the walnuts. Let this go for another 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat and allow the walnuts to cool slightly before letting them join the coconut-apple party.
Bring the snack mix together and serve immediately for a warm, slightly sweet / slightly salty Whole30 friendly snack!
Now. Don’t pig out on this. It would be really easy to treat this like you would, say… a bowl of cereal. Let’s not do that. Instead, grab a handful, grab some carrot sticks or a hard-boiled egg, and maybe a bottle of kombucha. It’s a snack… and a delicious one at that.
Apparently this recipe caused quite a stir when I shared it on the Whole30 Recipes Instagram feed on October 25, 2015. Folks have some strong opinions out there about which compliant ingredients can be combined and which can’t… I was reminded that the way I see food isn’t necessarily how others do. I was reminded to slow down a little more and put myself in others’ shoes. I was reminded that I must really not care about pie.
First off, we need to define our terms: SNACK.
A snack to me is a small bit of food that I can eat because I’m running late to my next meal and I don’t want to pass out or become a hangry monster… but I also don’t want to ruin the awesome meal I have planned for myself either. Just need a nibble to hold me over until I can get to where my actual food is. That’s a snack to me.
A snack is not mindless grazing on nutrient-poor food for the sake of doing it. I had a lightbulb moment reading some of the comments left on the post (that incidentally no longer exists on the feed). Folks sharing how this recipe would just mean all the things to them or how they’re dying for a treat or how they are emphatically against anything resembling the s-word cause they believe it to be forbidden. In my own little bubble, I failed to take into consideration that there are quite a few ways to interpret “snack” and the role that this recipe could play in a person’s Whole30.
For some, this kind of thing is SWYPO (sex with your pants on). Pour some coconut milk over it and you’ve got a faux cereal, for example. For others, it’s food with no brakes. They know that at first bite, they’ll be hooked and run the risk of eating more in a single sitting than they’d prefer. I want to be sensitive to those who would add to their challenge by having this mixture on hand. I certainly don’t want to tempt you in that direction! So there’s an easy fix. If you personally decide that you can’t go here, don’t. If you’re more like me and get weak in the knees over salty crispy fried things rather than the sweet stuff, perhaps this will work for you? That’s a choice you’ll need to make for yourself. Cause there’s a strong population of Whole30’ers who won’t be tripped up but this mix. It’s just not as big of a deal. (Don’t worry, you’d probably be a rock in a situation where I’m drooling on myself… great tater tots are my kryptonite. AMIRIGHT?)
So on the flip side, if you’re an athlete, have an unpredictable work schedule and need back-up, are nursing, have to attend a social gathering and want to reduce temptation, or if you aren’t particularly tempted by recipes with the word “pie” in them, you might appreciate an option such as this to make sure you’ve got a whole food snack in lieu of a pre-made, processed one.
This is your Whole30. Only you know if any compliant recipe (not just this one) will contribute to a successful outcome.